It’s been over a year now since Viggo Mortensen embarked on the press circuit for Captain Fantastic, seeing Matt Ross’s second feature, Captain Fantastic, draw raves and a standing ovation at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Certainly, the year that followed has been just as welcoming. Repeatedly, Captain Fantastic has announced itself as this year’s little indie that could, netting a Cannes Directing Prize for Ross, an Outstanding Cast nomination from SAG, and various accolades at festivals, domestic and international.
Mortensen, meanwhile, scored SAG, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe nominations on the road to his second Oscar nod—this time, for the role of a mourning father raising his children in the Pacific Northwest. Speaking with Deadline following the Oscar Nominees Luncheon, Mortensen discusses Ross’s strengths as a director, bonding with his young co-stars, and the aspects of the film that have kept it relevant throughout the entirety of awards season.
You’ve had quite the journey with Captain Fantastic, beginning at Sundance last year. How has the experience been for you?
We got a great reaction at Sundance—a long, standing ovation and very passionate response—and that’s what we got everywhere we’ve been in the United States, and in many other countries. Even though it won quite a few prizes—particularly, audience awards in Seattle, Rome, Deauville, in South America as well—it came out in the first week of July. That’s ancient history, the way these things go.
If you’d asked me back in Sundance a year ago whether I or anyone else from Captain Fantastic would be attending the Oscar Nominees Luncheon, I would have said, “That’s a really long shot, and not likely.” Not that I wouldn’t have thought then that we deserved it. I was very happy to represent Captain Fantastic today, and I have to say, a lot of people came up to me and said that they loved the movie, or they just watched it a couple days ago. I wish they had watched it months ago, because maybe we would have an Original Screenplay nomination and who knows what else, but I think it’s just difficult for a lot of movies, for them to slip in there. Read More